Posts Tagged ‘book’

I submitted my suspense story to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine last week. It had previously been turned down by Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.

This submission makes sense since the story was inspired by a story in EQMM which was in turn inspired by Hitchcock’s “Rear Window.”

What’s kind of nice is that the submission guidelines are more about format than style. I’m glad they are less picky about that. Although format guidelines in general are annoying, especially numbering pages. The Hitchcock guidelines are here:


The magazine is pretty decent, although sadly much more thin than I remember it being.


I’ve been sending my work to comic book publishers. I did some research and thought I could share it with my readers.

First, I went to my local comic stores and wrote down the names of independent companies I saw. I also jotted down what kind of comics they published (horror, pop culture) and the quality. Then I looked them up online and tried to find their submission guidelines.

Specifically, I was looking at their writers’ guidelines, and if they accept scripts without art, but some of this would be helpful for artists or writer/artists.

On a few of them, I mention they are looking for high concept stuff. What do I mean by “high concept?” That’s a judgment call on my part. It’s like when you can distill a story down to a flashy advertising phrase.

Abstract Studios is just Terry Moore’s stuff.

Alias is now part of Lamppost

Antarctic Press is open to non-super hero submissions from writers. However, they will not pair you with artists. They will keep a promising script on hand. For what I’m not sure.

Ape Entertainment – Open to subs from creative teams. Can’t just be a writer. Have to have it all together. Also does RPGs.

Arcana – Finished projects only.

Archaia – Finished projects only.

Aspen – No submissions

Asylum Press – Horror only.

Avalon/Haberlin – Might just be his own work.

Avatar – Have to be famous

Big Dog Ink – Didn’t look like it needed anything. There’s a submission link that brings you to forums where you can post links to your current works, but that’s it. Might be more for artists to post work.

Blue Water – No writers at this time. Looking for high concept stuff.

Boom – No subs

Campfire – Has a submission queue on web site, but I think it’s more for artists. Tend to have retellings of classic stories, so the Greek warthog story might work. A few originals are still period pieces.

Dark Horse – Looking for finished products

Desperado – Established only, writer artist teams only, now an imprint of IDW

Devil’s Due – Does not seem to be accepting submissions. Definitely will if you’re already famous.

Do Gooder Press – Just his stuff

Dynamite – Send a query. Top names, though. Doubtful.

Exploding Funny Books is just Eric Powell’s stuff.

Humanoids Press – I sent e-mail. They look like they only do top names, but I don’t know. In reply, they said there are no submission guidelines and to feel free to send anything.

Icon – Marvel creators only

IDW – Doesn’t look like they’re looking for anything. They responded to an e-mail of mine that said to submit through the e-mail for letters.

Lamp Post – Christian

Oni – Not open to traditional submissions. “we decided to suspend the submissions process in favor of a more streamlined process-namely, viewing online comics, portfolios, and resumes, reading minicomics, and meeting people at conventions. We are always looking for talent. Come by our booth at any convention and introduce yourself. We are more than happy to talk.”

Peregrine – Just their stuff

Red 5 – Open to relative unknowns, as long as you’re established. But you must have a team.

Slave Labor – Finished only.

Tokyopop – Closed

Top Cow – Finished projects. Top names only.

Top Shelf – Finished projects only.

Top Shelf 2.0 – Web stuff. Finished projects only. There’s an anthology thing online. No special guidelines, e-mail reply from editor: just send me a link or small attachment!

Udon – Doesn’t seem to publish anything but a few licensed properties and their own stuff. But can be hired as an art studio.

Viz – only Japanese

Zenescape – If you have an artist draw it first, “we’ll strongly consider it,” but there’s no room in the publishing schedule to do other people’s work.

Someone wrote on their guidelines: Web sites like Digital Webbing, DeviantART and Penciljack are excellent sites for connecting with other creators.

Charlesbridge is a kind of publisher that I’m never sure I’m good enough for. They have a lot of books that impart a gentle lesson.

I’m not real good on lessons.

Often, my subtle lesson is really really subtle. More often, I just tell (what I think is) a good story with no lesson. So, we’ll see.


The first part of their guidelines are here:

The Promise of Premise

Posted: July 19, 2010 in All, Comic Books, TV
Tags: , , ,

There’s a difference between a great character and a great premise.

They’re not mutually exclusive, but they don’t always go hand in hand.

I was thinking of this while watching the first two episodes of “The Ghost Whisperer” with my wife. She talks to ghosts and helps them find their way(The Ghost Whisperer, not my wife.). Not the first time it’s been done. But maybe the first time it’s been done on an hour long weekly show.

There are hundreds of variations. Different things ghosts need before they move on. Do they even want to? Can they and their loved ones say goodbye?

It’s a good premise. And a regular series needs a good premise. Something you can sink into in front of the couch every week. The shows creators make a promise to you that you’re going to get some of the same ingredients every week, but maybe in a different recipe once in a while to shake things up. You know that the story is going to be about a ghost losing its way.

Other shows are the same. You know that House is going to have a medical mystery. You know Monk is going to feel uncomfortable about something.

So that’s part of it.

In comic books, I’ve seen very few premises. Often, if there is one, it gets lost. I’m using comics because it’s a serial medium.

The X-Men are heroes who defend a world that hates and fears them. This sometimes gets lost in them fighting the villain of the month, or each other. Spider-Man has the Parker Luck, but not much else. Batman has monomania and vigilantism.

The other part is character.

We don’t care about the premise if we don’t like the characters living within it.

I think that you can have one but not the other in certain circumstances.

I liked “Noble Causes” because it had a great premise, and the characters were decent. It seems like a lot of the independents that are going to survive do so because there is a premise that you can explain in one sentence. For example: “Invincible” is about the son of Superman.

But a premise can quickly become a gimmick.

If the premise is all there is, then it’s just window dressing. You have to have both: premise and character.